Analysis of DHS Proposed Rule to Eliminate Duration of Status (D/S)

Update - January 21, 2021

When the Biden Administration issued its Regulatory Freeze memorandum on January 20, 2021, DHS had not yet sent a final D/S rule to the Office of Management and Budget for review or to the Office of the Federal Register for publication. This memo would likely mean that the final rule could not advance until DHS under new Secretary or their designee reviews and approves the rule.


As part of its advocacy for immigration issues affecting our international community, Emory University has provided comments to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to express deep concerns about the proposed rule below. When new information is available about the status of the proposed rule, the ISSS website will be updated.


On Friday, September 25, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a proposed rule that would eliminate Duration of Status (D/S) for F-1 students, J-1 exchange visitors, and F-2/J-2 dependents. This is a proposed rule that currently does not have an effective date. As a proposed rule, it will proceed through the standard public notice and comment procedures before a final rule is published.

Here is a summary of what this proposed rule would mean for you if it were to become a final published rule:

  • Elimination of D/S: Currently, F-1 and J-1 visa holders can stay in status for as long as their Form I-20 or DS-2019 has been issued (often the selected Form end date is based on the expected graduation date or program completion date). Under this rule, these individuals would be given a 4-year admission period unless the student or scholar is subject to a limited 2-year admission period.
  • Groups subject to the 2-year limit: 
    • Individuals who were born in or are citizens of countries on the State Sponsor of Terrorism List. Currently, these countries are Iran, Syria, Sudan, and North Korea.
    • Citizens of countries with a student and exchange visitor total overstay rate of greater than 10% as published in the DHS Entry/Exit Overstay report.
    • Individuals who warrant a 2-year maximum admission period would be in the US national interest as deemed by the DHS Secretary. 
  • Requirement to submit Extension of Stay (EOS) requests to the US government in order to extend the stay beyond the 2- or 4- year period.
  • Reduction of F-1 grace period from 60 days to 30 days. 
For additional details included in this rule, please review the proposed rule published in the Federal Register.

International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) will continue to analyze the rule (and any changes resulting from the proposed rule comment period) and determine its impact on the Emory community. If a final rule is published, ISSS will widely communicate its effect on the Emory community to international students and scholars, as well as campus partners.

We value the contributions that international students and scholars bring to Emory, Atlanta, and the United States. We will continue to advocate for Emory’s international students and scholars and fight against these types of unfavorable immigration policies.